Ukrainian Folklore Archives receives the ASA Access to Holdings grant

In 2018, the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives was a proud recipient of the Archives Society of Alberta Access to Holdings grant. The grant aimed to arrange and describe the Bohdan Medwidsky papers.

13 January 2019

In 2018, the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives was a proud recipient of the $7,100.67 Access to Holdings grant from the Archives Society of Alberta. The grant aimed to arrange and describe the Bohdan Medwidsky fonds. Dr. Medwidsky's personal records, correspondence, photographs, research papers, various records related to his career at the University of Alberta and his activities in the community: minutes, reports, certificates, financial records, etc. The records dates range from 1959 to 2007. They were deposited into the Archives in 2009, but were not processed due to the lack of time and staff.

This project is extremely important to the Kule Folklore Centre. Bohdan Medwidsky was born in interwar Poland, grew up in Switzerland, and came to Canada together with his family as a post-WWII refugee in 1949. He moved to Edmonton in 1971, when he received a teaching position at the University of Alberta. In 1977, he offered his first class in Ukrainian Folklore. Soon after, several class offerings grew into a graduate program in Ukrainian Folklore, third in Canada to offer both master's and PhD degrees. Medwidsky became the founder of the Ukrainian Folklore Archives and established the Ukrainian Folklore Archives Endowment Fund to ensure its development and sustainability into the future. He was very active in professional societies in Alberta, Canada, and abroad, as well as in numerous Ukrainian community organizations. In the late 1970s, he served to develop bilingual Ukrainian school programs in Alberta supported by the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. He was a founding member of the Ministerial Advisory Board to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village in 1982. B Medwidsky served on the board of the Friends of the Ukrainian Village Society, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, the Association of Ukrainian Writers Slovo, the Alberta Society for Advancement of Ukrainian Studies, the Ukrainian Pioneers Association of Alberta, the Alberta Ukrainian Commemorative Society, the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada, the Western Canadian Branch of the Shevchenko Scientific Society, and many other organizations.

We hired a Project Archivist, Eric Fincham, who worked tirelessly to process these records. Bohdan Medwidsky's active involvement in the Ukrainian community life, bilingual education on the provincial level, religious and cultural organizations, fundraising campaigns for Ukrainian studies, make his records valuable for researchers and broader public interested in the history of the large and active Ukrainian community in Alberta. The description of the Bohdan Medwidsky fonds is now available in our archival database and in Alberta on Record, the provincial archival database administered by the Archives Society of Alberta.

The Archives Society of Alberta is a professional association that serves the province's archival community through professional development, grants, advising, online database and many other opportunities. Thanks to the generous financial support from the Archives Society of Alberta, researchers now have access to another piece of Ukrainian Canadian history.